Support Community-Based COVID19 Response in Fiji

Your help today will help us over the next few months to:

  • Continue buying handmade artisan products from our partner communities
  • Distribute protective COVID19 kits with washable masks, gloves and COVID awareness infographic flyers
  • Distribute basic food rations to remote partner communities and marginalized areas inside Fiji’s restricted areas to prevent them from traveling to town centers for shopping
  • Distribute raised seedlings to partner communities to help boost food security
  • Maintain our core staffing levels

All donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Rise Beyond the Reef is a U.S. registered federally exempt nonprofit organization. EIN #46-2759603. Our Fiji-based organization is also a registered Charitable Trust in the Fiji Islands. 

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It takes a global pandemic for many of us to feel a deep sense of uncertainty.

The marginalized women of our partner communities here in Fiji already know how to live with uncertainty. They already live on the on the fringes of the world’s most geographically isolated region.

Although there are only a handful of cases of Covid-19 in Fiji, we know that will likely multiply in the coming weeks. Starting in January, the effects were already being felt due to a decline in tourism, the backbone of Fiji’s economy. Already, billions of dollars in revenue losses are projected for this year.

The Pacific’s aid sector is cued up to respond at any moment to natural disasters.  That’s our gig here. There are careers in natural disaster preparation, there are conferences and campaigns. But are we really prepared to respond when other types of disasters hit? Few NGOs in the Pacific have strong links to the private sector. It may not be until next year that NGOs will feel the economic impact of the Covid-19 slowdown.  As donor spending tightens, funding allocations will also dry up.

For us, the effects are felt now. We are close to 80% self-sufficient through our product sales. While that may sound wonderful, we still need to work hard to ensure that we can be there for our partner communities regardless of funding and tourist trends.

Last year, we started working in earnest to build our export market, launching an online store for US and Australia customers.  The store is growing, but with shrinking tourist arrivals, we’re not there yet in terms of making up for lost sales in the local market.

Successful economic development programming is already one of the weakest links in the Pacific. Who will be there for the remote rural communities of this region as they face the ripple effects of this global economic rip tide?

We understand that everyone is mapping out their own situations and considering how to help their neighbors. We ask you to join us in supporting the isolated, unseen people of Fiji.

Here is how this global economic slowdown will specifically impact women living in the remote rural regions of Fiji:

  • Loss of remittances: Many rural women, the elderly, and their families rely on remittances from relatives who work in town.  A great many of these relatives are employed in the tourism industry where jobs are being dramatically reduced, affecting both steady employment and remittances sent home.
  • Loss of market: Less income means reduced buying of fresh produce from remote rural communities who rely on locals and businesses to sell their crops informally.
  • Food costs: Imported staples such as rice, sugar and flour can become scarce when borders and exports are cut off from major suppliers in China, Australia & New Zealand.
  • Increased stress and violence: Research has shown that natural disasters result in increased violence toward women and girls. Economic instability could have the same result.

Thank you for your consideration and support! For any questions or inquiries, please feel free to reach out! Janet@risebeyondthereef.org